While it might be here a little later than I promised, it’s time for my official review on LIPSENSE!  Lipsense is a non-toxic, water proof, KISS proof, lead free, wax free, gluten free, GMO free, Cruelty free, MADE IN THE USA, long lasting lip color. That’s enough to make your head spin right?  Mine too!

I’ll be honest, I resisted trying Lipsense for quite a while.  I'm not sure why exactly, but I did. Months ago I purchased one color, and I liked it very much; but at that time I didn’t buy the gloss, and I didn’t apply it as I should have. So, while I loved the color, it didn’t exactly turn me into a Lipsense groupie.

After repeated inquiries from my followers on my thoughts on Lipsense, I thought it was time to give it an official try, and do it right this time. Lipsense is sold through distributors, but not in stores. I reached out to my contact and ordered Aussie Rose. This is a color that is a little outside the box for me as I am typically a neutral kinda girl. But, I chose this shade because I felt like I could really see the quality of the color throughout the day.

On my first day I applied three coats of the product as instructed, and topped it off with the Glossy Gloss. It looked great and I was initially impressed. However, as the day went on I felt like the color was fading a bit, and my lips were oddly peeling layers of the color off. At this point I figured I had just wasted my money, and was ready to write a much different review.  In an effort to give it another try, I reached out to my contact again and sent her a picture of my lips. That’s when I learned that Lipsense requires a little technique.

Things to know…
1.  You should lightly shake your Lipsense before you apply.
2.  Make sure your lips are clean before you apply; using the Lipsense Oops Remover can assist with this.
3.  When you apply your three layers you need to do them each in the same direction.  No back and forth swiping as you would with a typical lipstick
4.  You need to wait about 5 seconds in between each layer to allow it to set.
5.  Apply the Glossy Gloss (or Lipsense gloss of your choice, because there are multiple) many times throughout the day.

She also shared that many people endure a shedding period when they first try the Lipsense. This is because they have either used other products that have created a build-up on their lips, or their lips are a little dry.  Because Lipsense is loaded with Vitamin E it’s actually really good for your lips. She encouraged me to wear the color over the next couple of days to complete the shedding process. I decided to give it a go the following day, and my lips were already transformed. Here are a few pictures I documented throughout the day.

As you can see, it really stayed looking great all day long. While the color doesn’t transfer or move, the gloss will need to be reapplied throughout the day.

Later that evening I washed my face, and I was sure if I scrubbed hard enough I would be able to get it off my lips.  Wrong.  I literally had to use the Oops Remover to get it off!  It's seriously not going any where, so be sure when you apply you do so carefully.

After results like these you can imagine how many colors I ordered for my wedding parties! This will be perfect for them! 

 

Lipsense comes in 36 shades with 11 gloss choices, although Glossy Gloss seems to be a favorite.  A color is $25, glosses are $20, and Oops Remover is $10, which may seem a little steep, but I saw this chart and realized it totally makes sense. As I mentioned, you cannot find Lipsense in any stores. You will need a distributor to place an order. Most distributors order their stock monthly and you “shop their stock” for colors.  If you are looking for a specific color that can make things a little tricky but so far I have loved every color I have.

 I'm so glad to finally have brought this post to you.  So many people have asked me my thoughts on Lipsense for so long now.  Remember to find me on Instagram and Facebook ,(although I am much more interactive on IG these days).

If you follow me on Instagram you know I've been trying to find a cheaper replacement to my all-time favorite mascara, Too Faced Better than Sex.  At $23 the Too Faced mascara can be a little pricey.  My latest test was with the Loreal Voluminous Lash Paradise for just $9.99.  

 

 

From packaging alone it seems Loreal may have visions of becoming the coveted "dupe" for the Too Faced brand.  I mean, really, can you be any more obvious who you were going after?

At a glance, I first noticed the size and weight.  To the naked eye it would appear the Loreal mascara had much less product in it.  It certainly is not as large, and the Too Faced mascara weighed much more in my hand.  With fairness in mind, I wanted to see just what the quantity difference was exactly. 

Well, look at that! The Loreal actually has MORE product in it!

Now let's compare wands.  The Too Faced is larger and has a more dramatic shape to it.  However, the Loreal is similar in shape, but not quite there.  

So, how does the Loreal actually perform?  I actually really, truly LOVE it!  A mascara I will surely buy again and again.  One complaint I have about the Too Faced mascara is that it flakes, especially as you get to the bottom.  On one hand I think that's why I like the mascara, because I prefer a drier mascara.  With a  drier mascara you get less lash clumps, and each lash can be more easily defined and lengthened.   But, I find the dry flakes on my face annoying.  At this point, I have not had the flakes with the Loreal mascara, which I appreciate.  

That being said, I still think I get more definition from the Too Faced mascara.  I think it's because of the drama of the brush shape.  It really pulls each lash out and up.  

So what's a girl to do?  For me, I will have both (of course I will, right?).  The Loreal will be used on most days, and I'll save the Too Faced mascara for when I really have something going on besides work and my kids sports.  You know, so basically I'll never actually get to use the Too Faced mascara, but it will be waiting there for me when I'm ready.  

 

 

You may recall, I once confessed that I am a Latisse user.  As a self-proclaimed mascara junkie, I have a thing for lashes.  I have used Latisse for a few years, off and on, to grow my lashes.  But, Latisse is very expensive.  Recently, the salon I work for began to sell a new Lash Serum, and I was more than happy to give it a try.  

Let me say Grande Lash did not disappoint!  I actually have much better results from it than I did from Latisse!  If you are consistent, and I mean seriously faithful, your lashes will blow you away!  I have a friend who has longed for longer, fuller lashes forever.  I recommended it to her, and within two weeks she couldn't believe how incredible her lashes were.

Grande Lash couldn't be easier to use.  The box will direct you to apply it once a day at night.  Well, I did that for a few weeks and it definitely worked.  Then I got a tip to apply it twice a day, first thing in the morning and at night before bed.  LIFE CHANGING!  I'm not kidding, it's amazing!  Even without mascara my lashes look great; with mascara of course, it's even better!

 

Mind you, I am terrible at taking pictures of my eyes.  The angle...all wrong.  The lighting...all wrong, but that's what makes me real, right?  That's what I tell myself anyway.  However, I think my results speak for themselves.  Literally, almost every week someone asks me if I'm wearing false lashes.  

I'm sure you have seen so many other brands, and I can't speak for them since I have never tried them.  I'm sure they are wonderful as well.  So, if you were skeptical on the whole lash serum thing, it's no joke; you need to try it.   FYI, I started my recent lash journey in January, and my first bottle lasted me about 4 months.  

If you live in the Cincinnati area you can stop by any Paragon Salon to pick up yours, (no, I don't get paid to say that).  If you cannot get to a Paragon Salon, I'm sure you can find it online.

"18 Summers is All You Get", was the title of an article my friend recently sent me.  I couldn't even get past the title to open it.  Life is short, time with our children under our own roof is even shorter, and the reality of it is hitting me hard these days.

The older I get, the more I realize that life is about choices.  My work as a Makeup Artist is so fulfilling to me.  Using my talents to make women feel confident and beautiful is such a gift, and believe me when I tell you I'd love to do this 24/7.  These days I feel like there are two halves to me.  There is on one hand a woman who loves being an artist, and would pursue this career 24/7 without hesitation.  Then there is another part of me, a wife and mother of three who is obsessed with spending every free moment with her beautiful babies whether they like it or not.  And let's face it, the majority of my work happens on weekends and evenings.  Since my children are all now in school, that schedule doesn't work for me as it once did.  While I feel torn most of the time, I know where my heart truly lies:  with my children.

This year my business has exploded; not sure why but 2017 is the year to get married!  I have turned down more weddings this year than I can count, and it breaks my heart each time I have to say no.  But I have to say no.  I don't want to miss out on life with my family.  Missing soccer and baseball games pains me.  On the other hand, I feel like without having this outlet of artistry I wouldn't be myself either.  It's hard to feel so torn.  My plan for this year was to never take more than 2 weddings a month.  Well, I'm not sure what happened, but I didn't follow my own advice.  This month has been insane!  Hence, the lack of blog posts from me lately.  I think the reason I get myself into these situations is because you never know when the next job will come.  I may get 3 bookings one month, but have nothing the next month.  This year has taught me not to worry about that; the jobs will definitely come.  My schedule for this year is officially closed, and I plan to make a few changes for next year as well.  At this time I have also decided I will no longer do individual makeup lessons for those wanting to learn.  I'm always here to advise you, but it's too much of a struggle to find the time to meet.  My love for what I do is another reason I have decided to create some boundaries.  Keeping my artistry a hobby, and not a job, keeps it exciting to me.  I don't want to grow to hate something I love so very much by doing it too much.

 

Luckily for me, I have an amazing husband who can handle the shuffle of three kids with ease.  I'm also blessed to have parents who devote their weekends to my kids' games, so they are always happy to pitch in when we have to be two places at once.  Typically, I'm finished with my work by early afternoon, so I get the chance to race to those afternoon games.   When I can't make it, my kids are sure to fill me in on play by play (by play) of their games.

For now I'm going to focus on balance.  It's the key to life, right?  Balance between work and play;  balance between enjoying the food we love, and the food that's good for us; balance between getting things done, and taking time reset; balance between being with your kids every minute, and finding time for your spouse.  It's all about BALANCE.  It's the hardest struggle in life, but I think it's the key to a happy life.  

 

Be sure to follow me of Facebook & Instagram.  I'm going to try to be a little more active on my social media since the blog posts have been hit or miss lately.  

 

Have you seen these things?  Are you thinking it may be some kind of insert for your shoes?  It's not.  Maybe you are thinking it's one of those things you might place in your bra to give you a little something extra; not that I would ever do that 😉  Nope, not that either.  This is actually called a Silicone Makeup Sponge.  I picked mine up on Amazon for about $10.  Still have yet to see any in the stores, but I'm sure it's coming soon.

 

It's designed to apply your foundation.  Ideally, it sounds amazing; promising to use much less foundation than traditional brushes or a beauty blender, because the product won't actually absorb into the sponge.  Also designed to be super easy to clean and sanitize; I couldn't wait to get my hands on it...until I did.

Starting as I typically do, I applied the foundation to the back of my hand, dipped the Silicone sponge into the product, and pressed it onto my skin.  Boy, they were not joking when they said you will use much less foundation.  I had WAY too much, and had to work it all over my face instead of just the one cheek area I had originally planned.  This is where things became challenging; I couldn't actually work the product in.  When it comes to applying foundation I love to press it into the skin, so it kind of melts in.  With this applicator you cannot do that.  

So, I tried to slide the foundation around my face.  It worked, but I spent a lot more time playing with it than normal, and Honey, I just don't have time for that.  Of course I realize that maybe if I try harder it would become easier.  Believe me when I say, I really wanted to like this; really bad.  The idea of using less foundation, and having a tool that was easier to clean than a makeup sponge (because those things are the biggest pain in the "you know what" to clean) was truly appealing.  I didn't actually give up after one try, I tried for two weeks to fall in love with this thing.  Finally, I researched Youtube to see if I could find someone who demonstrated using this with a particular technique.  What I found was that many other artist out there didn't care for it either.  Now, that being said, there were plenty who did like it.  I even have a friend who adores hers.  For me it just didn't make the cut.  There has to be something I'm missing.  

For now, I'm back to my beauty blender, but I promise to continue to try with this Silicone sponge.  If I find any new tips or tricks I promise to circle back and give you an update.  What can I say; you win some, you lose some.

A few weeks ago I made a post on Facebook about an old school makeup palette of mine.  While you all were supposed to be focusing on the shadow, many of you were distracted by my awesome nails 😉  Today I'll let you in on what that shade was...

Well, here it is...Essie Penny Talk.  This is honestly the only bottle of nail polish that I have literally hit rock bottom on.  Most polishes I throw away because they become thick, and too hard to manipulate half way through the bottle.  Penny Talk has become such a staple of mine it never got the chance to get thick.  I find it to be the perfect neutral.  It's great as a transition shade in the Fall & Spring.  It also works well if you are going out and wearing bright colors and want something a little under the radar.  On all skin tones it's truly flattering.

Another neutral I recently picked up is Morgan Taylor's No Way Rose'.  You can see that it is very similar to the Essie shade.  In my mind the Essie shade as a smoother, satin like finish.  The Morgan Taylor shade, on the other hand, has a bit of sparkle to it.  Both equally gorgeous.  

You should see these two colors on toes, too!  I mean, you won't see my toes, because no matter how transparent I'd like to be, showing my toes is absolutely off limits.  Trust me they are weird!

Many places carry Essie: Target, Meijer, Ulta.  The Morgan Taylor is a professional brand and can only be found on Amazon.  What are some of your favorite transition shades?  I'd love to hear.

About a month ago I was on a mission to find a new blush. Of course this led me to Ulta; a place that is a little too close to home at this point. Roaming the aisles I discovered the NYX Baked Blushes. With a price tag of only $6.99, and a promotion of buy one, get one 1/2 off I decided to get a few. I mean how could I resist, right? One shade in particular will be perfect for Spring; Wanderlust. A fresh, delicate shade of peach with just a touch of shimmer. For anyone with fair to medium skin tone it will work for you. If you have darker skin you will want to grab something a little brighter.

The finish on these baked blushes is incredible. While my kit does include a few baked powders I wondered what the difference was. I decided to do a little investigating of my own and share it with you all.

Basically these products all start out as creams but are baked for a period of time to turn them into solids. The process gives them a more creamy, velvety texture. With this blush in particular you can really feel that if you glide your finger across it, it’s almost like silk. Not to mention the colors become more pigmented, allowing the application to be more concentrated with a luminous finish.

Overall baked products are ideal for anyone. Try them for yourself and you will see the difference.If you are interested I highly recommend the baked products from NYX. I mean for that price you should have a couple. That’s what that little demon in my head always says anyway 🙂

 

You know I always appreciate you following the blog, especially when I can't be as consistent as I would like.  Life happens and things come up.  Follow me on Instagram & Facebook so we can stay connected.  

I am often asked what my favorite eye shadow palette is.  This is always a hard one for me to answer.  For one thing, there are so many out there.  For another thing, I know how most of you are, and I know how I am.  You are going to buy a shadow palette with 12 different shadows and you are probably only going to use about 3 of them.  It's super annoying when you use a palette and run out of that one shade you use the most.  Now what?  Buy a whole new palette for just one shade?  

Urban Decay realized this was a problem and created a solution...sort of.  All the shades that come in their palettes are also offered as single shades.  Essentially, if you run out of your favorite shade you can go buy a single of that shade to replace it.  The annoying part remains that now you have one single shade and a palette you need to pull out or take with you when you travel.

Then Buxom came along with the most genius idea yet!  They now offer a palette where you can snap in individual shades!  VOILA!   For just $40 you get the empty palette + 6 shades to start.  Then as you run out of your favorite shades you can purchase the refills and snap them into the palette!  Not to mention that you get to pick all 6 shades yourself.  That means you will not have those random shades you know you will never use!  Once I discovered this little gem I flipped!  Of course you know me...I obsessed for weeks over which shades I wanted in my original set.  Having my palette for several weeks now I couldn't be happier.  It's also worth mentioning that each of these single shades is about three times larger than the shades you will find in the Urban Decay palettes.  For only $40 it's an amazing deal!

Remember that time I longed for the Dior Airbrush foundation, but it broke my commandment of expensive foundations?  Well, I finally tried it my friends.  I did!  After receiving a gift card I decided to throw caution to the wind, and purchase that foundation I've been eyeing for years.  And you know what?  I wasn't impressed.

I know right?  Bummer.  You should have seen me that first day of using the luxurious foundation.  Like a kid in a candy store I couldn't wait to use it that day.  I was sure when I finished I was going to look like an airbrushed super model with amazing, glowing skin.  What actually happened was less than thrilling.  As directed, I applied the foundation.  Did it look bad?  No.  Did it look jaw-dropping amazing?  Not so much.  It basically looked very much like the drugstore foundations I had been using.  Of course I vowed to try again.  That night I moisturized like I was headed to the Arctic, assuming that would make all the difference.  Still no luck.  After more than a week of using this coveted foundation I broke down and returned it.  It was too expensive to keep for mediocre results.

 

The lesson here, my friends, is just because it has a fancy brand attached to it; just because it's expensive;  just because you saw it on Instagram; doesn't mean it's the Holy Grail.  You have to find what works for you.  It may be a high-end, glitzy bottle you are proud to share on Instagram.  Or you may find yourself with a drugstore brand foundation that you once used in middle school.  You have to be true to you.

 

For more from Makeup by Kelly follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Snapchat (makeupbykheid).  

If you follow me at all you already know my Holy Grail mascara is Too Faced Better than Sex.  After all the mascaras I have tried in my entire life nothing compares.  Not only does it give me volume AND length, one tube lasts me much longer than any other mascara I have ever tried.  That being said, I like to have a cheaper alternative for those days that I'm not doing much but running errands or hitting one of my kid's games.  

Navigating my way through the drugstore brand mascaras is a daunting task.  There are hundreds to chose from.  And believe me, I feel like I have tried them all!  I'm not going to lie; I started to feel a little defeated, as if I may never find a good cheap alternative to my favorite mascara.  This past week I felt a glimmer of hope as I tried the Maybelline Colossal Big Shot mascara.  It's all about that brush ladies.  My official stance on mascara wands is that a plastic wand is just not for me.  I like a wand with bristles;  lots of them!  They hit each lash and drag it up.  With more bristles comes less clumping.  Score!

While I still prefer my Too Faced mascara, this one is a great second to it.  I got volume, I got length, and better yet, no clumping.  You need to try this one, and when you do share with me your experience with it.  I'd love to hear.

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